Introducing Counselling & Mental Health Support at King's
Introducing you to the Counselling & Mental Health Support Service here at King's
Mental Health Module: Looking after yourself during the pandemic
How many sessions and what type of counselling support is offered?
We typically offer up to 6 sessions with a counsellor or Mental Health Advisor.
The Counselling and Mental Health Support Service offers different types of support depending on need, including:
- Psychodynamic counselling
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Mental Health Advice
- Psychiatric support
- Psychoeducational workshops
- Individual or group support
What if I have a long-term mental health condition?
We define a condition as long-term if it is lasting/has lasted a year or more. Students with long term health conditions that impact their studies might benefit from a King’s Inclusion Plan (KIP). The KIP is a document you create in conjunction with a King’s Disability Adviser.
KIPs are designed to inform teaching staff that a student has a health condition and how it might affect study. The Disability Adviser will recommend reasonable adjustments to be included in the KIP. Once you are happy with the KIP it is sent to your academic team to implement the adjustments recommended to ensure you have a fair opportunity to participate in the course.
You don't have to consider yourself to be disabled to apply for a KIP. Email the Disability Support Service for more information, or to request an appointment to discuss a KIP and other support available.
You can also find out more in our article Support for students with long-term mental health conditions.
What can I expect from my initial appointment?
The purpose of the first session is to consider the problem you have come with and think, with the counsellor, about a way forward. The counsellor may suggest a second appointment if more time is needed for assessment.
You may like to consider joining a longer-term therapy group, and this would be discussed during the assessment meeting if appropriate. Students joining therapy groups are usually offered longer-term support, e.g. for a term or an academic year.
What kind of follow-up appointments can I expect?
The service typically offers 4 - 6 sessions of individual counselling. Longer term support can be available with the associates or counsellors in training.
If you know that you are going to be late for the beginning of your session, please email your counsellor.
If you cannot contact your counsellor, then please contact our administrators by email. Your counsellor will wait for your arrival and you will be seen for the remainder of your session.
Cancellation & Attendance Policy
Important to know: Please take a moment to read our cancellation and attendance policy. Missed and cancelled appointments result in longer waiting times for students who would like to see a counsellor.
- If you do not attend your first confirmed appointment/assessment and you do not respond to an email from your counsellor/Mental Health Advisor (MHA), we will assume that you no longer require counselling.
- If you cancel an assessment appointment, we may not offer you an alternative appointment unless there is a valid reason such as sudden injury or illness. Please bear in mind that all faculties and workplaces must offer you time off to attend health appointments.
- If an assessment appointment or first session with a new counsellor/MHA is cancelled twice, a further appointment will not be offered, and you must reapply to the service if you wish to see a counsellor/MHA.
- If you miss one of your ongoing sessions with a counsellor/MHA and have not notified them in advance, or contacted them after the missed appointment, it will be assumed that you no longer require counselling.
- If you cancel a session giving at least 48 hours’ notice, you will be offered an alternative appointment. If you cancel an appointment at short notice (less than 48 hours), or miss an appointment but notify your counsellor/MHA after the appointment, this will be counted as a session and taken from the total number of sessions agreed with your counsellor/MHA.
Please be assured that your counsellor will remind you of our cancellation and attendance policy when you first meet with them.
What groups & workshops do the Counselling & Mental Health Support Service run?
The service runs a number of groups for students. These take place throughout the academic year and cover a variety of themes and topics. There are long-term therapy groups as well as short-term focused groups and workshops.
To register interest and sign up for any of these short term groups or workshops please fill out the online self-referral form.
These groups run from October to July, and are led by experienced Group Analysts.
Groups Oct 2020 - July 2021:
- Younger Student Groups (18-25)
- Older Student Groups (25+)
- Postgraduate Group
- Bereavement Group
- Exploring Relationships/Sexuality
Short-term groups - run termly
Group information for 2020/21:
- Post-Graduate Anxiety
Workshops - run termly
The workshops are short-term and structured. They are psycho-educational and some are led from a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) perspective. The workshops are open to between 6 and 20 participants at a time. Workshops range from a single session to a workshop series; attending all sessions in a series is advisable because they relate to each other.
Workshops can be interactive, so please be prepared to participate (asking questions, doing the exercises, making sense of how the information might apply to you), but they are not therapeutic groups, so you will not be expected to share anything too personal with others in the workshops.
Workshops for 2020/21:
- Exam Anxiety
- Food, Mood and Body Image
- LGBT - Gender and sexual diversity
- Managing emotions
- Men & Mental Health
- Stress Management Group
- Therapeutic Conversations around Race
- Chinese Support Group
What is Mental Health Advice?
Mental Health Advice is different to counselling.
Mental Health Advisors offer information, advice, and guidance to students with mental health difficulties and short-term therapeutic support to students with mild and moderate mental health difficulties who are registered with the Counselling and Mental Health Support Service.
You can talk to the university’s Mental Health Advisors (MHAs) for practical support, information, advice and guidance about concerns or difficulties related to their mental health and/or self care. You might not always know what help or support you need, nor what is most appropriate for your needs. Speaking with a Mental Health Advisor can help this process.
Meetings with an advisor are a friendly and informal space in which to discuss your concerns. Advisors will help you access the support necessary to ensure you fulfil your potential while studying.
How can mental health advisors help?
- They can hold an assessment or triage appointments depending on your level of need.
- They offer therapeutic interventions of up to 5 individual sessions or psychoeducational workshops (CBT informed).
- They can liaison with internal and external services, including GPs as needed.
MHAs also offer support to students referred through our Student of Concern process, where the main concerns are related to mental ill-health, but who are not registered with CMHS.
Important to know: Mental Health Advisors do not offer:
- Counselling or psychotherapy.
- Urgent or crisis support. If your situation is urgent or you require immediate medical assistance we advise you to contact your GP or seek help via Crisis support.
- Therapeutic interventions to students who present with moderate to severe or enduring mental health difficulties and/or high risk to self.
- Long-term therapeutic interventions.
- Support letters for Mitigating Circumstances unless students are receiving ongoing support from the service.
What are the common issues brought to King's Counsellors and what support is available?
The most common issues that are presented to the Counselling & Mental Health Support Service are listed below.
Reading this information and visiting the recommended websites might be enough to help you, or you might want to register with our service to talk about how we can further support you.
If you would like to talk to someone in confidence after reading any of the below, then please do not hesitate to contact us and learn about registering for counselling.
What mental health support can I access at King’s if I am a healthcare student during the pandemic?
It is normal to be experiencing increased levels of stress and anxiety during this challenging time. This may well have negatively impacted your mental health and you may need extra support to look after your wellbeing.
King’s healthcare students may have been especially impacted during this pandemic.
Some of you who may be studying dentistry, medicine, nursing, physiotherapy and midwifery may have been called to support the frontline.
We want you to know that the Counselling & Mental Health Support Service is here to support you during these challenging times.
The service has developed a bespoke Counselling and Mental Health Support Care Package for you, so please register with the service to access:
- Up to 6 sessions of free and confidential online mental health support
- An appointment within 7 working days
- Additional online resources to support you with looking after your wellbeing, managing worry, anxiety, insomnia, procrastination and Psychological Wellbeing for Healthcare Workers
- Support signposting to King’s Student Services or to specialist NHS services
- Referral to specialist psychiatric support
- Referral to other online platforms such as Togetherall
- Signposting to specific online support
Is there any out-of-hours counselling support?
The Counselling & Mental Health Support Service at King’s operate across standard working week which is Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 17:00. However, we know that you might need support outside these days and times, so the service has partnered with Pro-Counselling, who are King’s College London’s out-of-hours Counselling Service.
You can use this free and confidential service when you would like to talk about an issue or problem out-of-hours and feel that you cannot wait to see a counsellor.
Pro-Counselling therapists offer short-term counselling support to King's College London students presenting with low to moderate mental health problems and can provide support, advice and guidance towards a solution.
Pro-Counselling are available on 0808 196 6172 from 17.00 to 09.00 on weekdays and 24/7 on weekends, bank holidays and King’s closure days. This number is a UK Freephone number from a mobile or a landline.
If you are not in the UK, you will not be able to call the UK Freephone number. However, you can still access the telephone counselling platform by calling +44 (0) 208 138 9107 (UK national rate). To access out-of-hours counselling support without communication charges, you can request an out-of-hours online counselling appointment. Opening times are on UK time (GMT+1).
For more detail, please visit Pro-Counselling at My Wellbeing Space.
Important to know: Pro-Counselling cannot provide supporting letters for Mitigating Circumstances Forms or liaise with tutors.
What about crisis support?
This service is not intended for crisis support and be aware that Pro-Counselling will extend confidentiality if a student is deemed a danger to themselves or others. If you are in crisis, please refer to our Emergency & crisis support for students article for guidance.
Is there any other support in the evenings and weekends?
For further information and options available to support your mental health outside our working hours, please refer to our article Mental health support during evenings, weekends & vacation periods.
For details on how to register for this service, please read our article Registering with the Counselling & Mental Health Support Service